Louise's Feminist Musings

Notes on feminist news & issues

Presentations Illustrated by Pictures of Wise Men

I am very annoyed with the habit of male scientists/philosophers to include slides with the same old pictures of their all male academic heroes. This suggests to the only woman in the audience (frequently myself) that everybody who ever ‘warned’ her about science/philosophy was right: she does not belong there.

Now, someone might defend this habit by saying ‘I can’t help that they were all men’. Sure. But why do you  do it? Including pictures of heroes does nothing to enhance the content of your work. The only thing it does for you is that you associate yourself with them as fellow great men.  And you see, that is a mechanism that is closely connected to keeping others out of your exclusive club. This habit is then often accompanied by many words of adoration in order to re-establish the proper hierarchy (because see, you just broke it by suggesting you and them are fellows in the same club and THAT is not tolerated because we have to keep the myth of the genius intact since it serves us so well).

Related research, hot of the press. Women drop philosophy after introductory course because of a.o. 89% of philosophers in syllabus are men: http://www.npr.org/blogs/13.7/2013/06/17/192523112/name-ten-women-in-philosophy-bet-you-can-t

Related research: women are better speakers when exposed to a picture of Hillary (instead of Bill). http://inthecapital.streetwise.co/2013/04/25/new-study-hillary-clinton-female-role-models-women-confident/

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